Talking of the most attractive destinations for pure nature lovers, Croatia has a status as one of them. Follow the article and find out details of the magical areas of this country. We hope this will help you to choose which one is the most suitable for your preferences.
10. Risnjak National Park
The location of Risnjak National Park is in the region of Gorski Kotar. It is the region with the biggest number of forests in Croatia. According to one interpretation, the park got the name after the largest predator residing there, which is the lynx. A long time ago, this region had many visitors with a science and botanic background. There is also a mountaineer house built after the mountaineers’ first organized visit to Risnjak in 1932.
Despite its minimal area, Risnjak National Park is a habitat for numerous plant species where seaside and continental greenery mix. It is this variety that had a contribution to the formation of separate flower localities. Because most of the park is extended over with woodlands, different kinds of trees dominate the region. The top of Risnjak is quite rocky, and various jeopardized plant varieties predominate there, such as black vanilla orchid and alpine yellow violet. Besides wildlife, Risnjak has a plentiful fauna.
The park is home to numerous large mammals such as deer, wild boar, wolf, brown bear, weasel, and others. Risnjak is quite a visited national park of Croatia, and this is due to the closeness of travelers destinations on the seaside, such as Crikvenica, Opatija, Krk, and many others.
9. Paklenica National Park
In a tiny region of just 95 square kilometers, there is the Paklenica National Park. Although little in size, the park is plentiful in natural resources such as wildlife, untouched nature, and a lot of geomorphological phenomena. It is also plentiful in oysters, scabs, pits, cavern, and other karst wonders due to its structure based on dolomite and limestone.
Manita Cavern and Vodarica Cavern are the richest in cavern decorations, and the cavern is decorated for tourists to visit. Paklenica got the name after the black pine resin. Specifically, about two-thirds of the atmosphere of the island is extended over with woodlands, beech, and native woodland of black pine. Paklenica fields are extended over with sorts of lilies and orchids.
You can experience Paklenica in different ways, from walking the trails and paths that lead from the canyon of Velika Paklenica to the woodland house Lugarnica and the mountain hut, to walking to the highest summits – “Vaganski Vrh “and the height of “Sveto Brdo.”
Paklenica ranks with the most significant climbing centers in Europe due to over 50 years of tradition of sport climbing and alpinism. The climbing season begins in early spring and ends in late fall. However, attendance is highest during the May 1 international climbing meet and competition.
Consequently, Paklenica is a “perfect hit” for all recreationists, lovers of mountaineering and sports life, but also for all those who want to spend a pleasant day in a peaceful and above all beautiful natural environment.
8. Northern Velebit National Park
The youngest National Park in Croatia is Northern Velebit, which is just one of the Velebit beauties. Northern Velebit is plentiful in variety, dominated by grassy karst valleys, pits, puddles, rocks with crevices, forests, and pastures.
These regions are “Homes” of creation for various plant and animal sorts, and all kinds of fungi. Although it seems impossible and incredible, the whole mountain was created in the sea.
During your stay on the mountain, you can see signs of the existence of wolves, bears, and lynx. The best way to enjoy North Velebit is by walking because this is the only way to see the real and wild beauty of this place.
7. Kornati National Park
Due to the unusual geomorphology, the indented seaside, the productive marine ecosystem, and the immense beauty of the landscape, in 1980, the Kornati Islands were proclaimed as National Park. Eighty-nine islands and islets make up this National Park, with the only 1⁄4 of the total land area, what is particularly fascinating is the aerial image of this National Park.
Since the sea here is crystal clear and transparent, it is possible to see various and specific types of beautiful corals. Do not miss the opportunity to bathe in the crystal clear and warm Kornati sea and enjoy the opportunity to observe the magnificent flora and fauna. You need to know that, even though the mainland seems devastated, it’s full of life, you just have to explore it carefully, which gives this National Park a unique charm.
You will not be hungry in the Kornati islands. Moreover, there are about 20 taverns and restaurants in the area that offer top quality seafood and Kornati lamb.
6. Ucka Nature Park
If you are a mountaineer or recreationist, the ideal place to enjoy and recreate is the Učka Nature Park. Due to its sea proximity, this area has an enjoyable climate and diverse flora and fauna. The protective symbol of Učka is the tower located on top of the Soldier, and the view from that tower is magical. The view goes back to Rijeka, Istra, Kvarner islands. Something definitely worth experiencing. If you get lucky, you can enjoy a flight of a grey eagle or bald eagle. The park has about 1300, unlike plant sorts, which is a huge number considering that the park area is not so large.
For this reason, the first researchers who came to Učka were botanists; therefore, today, botanists are still frequent visitors in this area. The Park area is extended over mainly by woodland. Gorgeous beech forests and grasslands are home to numerous animals such as wolves, lynx, and bears and Europe’s biggest owl. Besides, there are a lot of birds living in this Park; however, they are jeopardized by the gray falcon and the eagle.
Učka is plentiful in sub-Mediterranean sweet chestnut. Inside the canyon, there is a waterfall that springs into several places and is led by a “Waterfall” promenade. Walking along this promenade, you can see gorgeous landscaping, oak woodlands, and terraces where the land was once cultivated.
There is a variety of different activities that you can do in this Park, starting with cycling, climbing, hiking, and various races and competitions. Within the Park, there are walking trails, hiking and biking trails, educational trails, and a large number of programs and workshops for those youngest with expert mentors.
5. Biokovo Nature Park
Biokovo is said to be a mountain with roots in the sea and a peak in lightning. Its largest summit is the summit of St. Jure from which you can enjoy views of the islands, sea, mountains, Zagora and Italy. Besides the significant heights, there are plenty of depths, such as caverns and pits. Most of them always have a cover of ice and snow that do not melt even in the strongest sun.
Time spent in Makarska allows you to experience the superb view, breathe the mountain air and see the various flora and fauna of the Biokovo Nature Park. The location of Kotišina Botanical Garden is inside the Park. A couple of paths lead through the garden, and the plants have notes with the names of their “family.”
Although the mountain at first gives the feeling of a lifeless and monotonous area, it is a habitat for numerous wildlife. Eighty-seven turtle sorts and over 220 butterfly sorts were recorded.
Furthermore, there are a lot of rare and jeopardized birds and protected wolves. Besides the peak of St. George, a popular tourist destination is the summit of Vošac. From it, you can see numerous islands and part of the Makarska Riviera. Many cyclists and hikers are mainly visitors to Biokovo. About 50,000 tourists visit this nature park annually because of its extraordinary natural beauty and pleasant landscape.
4. Mljet National Park
The first marine secured region is the Mljet National Park. Due to the gorgeous scents and colors of the plentiful and untouched natural beauties, it has visitors regularly for 58 years. Mljet National Park extends over approximately one-third of the island. Locations that are an important oceanographic and geomorphological miracle in this region are the Little Lake and the Great Lake. The islet of st. Mary in the Great Lake is one of the extraordinary spots in this area. It houses the Benedictine monastery, which is also a landmark with the highest number of travelers.
You will not go wrong if you visit Mljet National Park at any period throughout the year. If you love nature, Mediterranean air, and culture, this National Park will always delight you.
You can visit it by ferry lines from Peljesac and Dubrovnik, and numerous excursion boats are departing from Split, from Hvar and Korcula, and their ports are in the ports of Pomena and Polace. The one who enjoys the discovery of sea caverns and beaches can choose to go canoeing, while those who are recreational and prefer a sports lifestyle may choose hiking or biking.
If you decide to visit Mljet in the summer, you can enjoy sunbathing and swimming on the gorgeous beaches.
3. Brijuni Islands National Park
At the northwestern exit of the port of Pula, lies the Brijuni Islands – one of Istra’s breath-taking treasures. It contains Big and Small Brijun and 12 small islands. In the distant past, in the Roman period, the island was highly regarded as a prime area where massive estates and magnificent villas were built. The most luxurious complex is the countryside castle in Verige Bay.
By World War I, this region became one of the most tempting resorts of the highest category, thanks to the Austrian industrialist Paul Kupelwieser. Also, since 1947, the Brijuni Islands became the summer address of Josip Broz Tito, and during that period, numerous magnificent buildings were built, and many parks and woodlands were restored.
Today, Brijuni is a famous destination worldwide, and a lot of foreign and domestic tourists come to visit this beautiful National Park. Brijuni is often said to be an oasis of perfectly harmonized flora and fauna. The pleasant Mediterranean climate gives this place a soothing and healing atmosphere with about 700 sorts of plants and 250 bird varieties listed.
There are many attractions and beauties that this National Park gives, starting with a tourist train ride along the Byzantine castrum, an outstanding villa in Verige Bay, through a safari park and many other spots and beauties. Nearby are the archeological museum and exhibition “Tito on Brijuni.” Due to its colorful program and unreal beauties, it is worth visiting our beautiful islands.
2. Krka National Park
Krka National Park is the second most visited National Park in Croatia, and as you continue to read, you will understand why. The origin of the river is at the bottom of the Dinara. Just like all national parks, Krka is plentiful in many plant and animal sorts. When it comes to Krka, a vast number of 860 plant varieties stand out, including some endemics such as the Illyrian Iris. What makes Krk extremely attractive and exciting is the animal world. The waterfalls are not a bit too high; one could point out the Roški Waterfall and Manojlovac 32 meters.
The Roški waterfall is also the “liveliest” part of the National Park. There are a lot of restaurants nearby. To feel the magic of this area, what you should not miss is trying wine and tasting millet prosciutto. The further flow of the river takes to Skradinski Buk, which is said to be the most wonderful waterfall of the National Park. Due to its unusual beauty, it is right to say that it is the most significant part made up of 17 travertine steps.
You can see various interesting things on Skradinski Buk, such as old mills, ethnographic collections, baskets, and poles that were used in the past for washing blankets, rugs, and clothes. Although not part of the National Park, it is worth mentioning and visits the small town of Skradin near Krka.
An example is a unique Dalmatian town with taverns, top quality local specialties, and a superb marina for which many boaters adore Skradin. It is also interesting that Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest people in the world and the CEO of Microsoft, has visited Skradin several times with his family!
1. Plitvice Lakes National Park
The oldest and largest National Park in the Republic of Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes. Its location is in the Mountains of Croatia, between Mala Kapela and Lika Plješivica. From time immemorial, all nature lovers visit this park, which exudes extraordinary beauty and riches, which is why in 1949, it got the announcement of the first National Park of Croatia. Most of the park is extended over with woodland and one tiny part with green. As the park itself suggests, lakes are the most exciting part of the park, occupying not more than 1% of the region.
With their original and untouched beauty, they simply delight many visitors from Croatia and all over the world. Precisely, every year this national park welcomes over 1.5 million tourists! The Plitvice Lakes are home to 22 protected sorts, of which the prettier European orchid – the lady’s slipper – stands out. Because it is a scarce and jeopardized variety in forested areas, it is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Over 50 varieties of mammals were noticed in the area of Plitvice Lakes such as hedgehog, marten, wild boar, and plenty of others.
There were also 20 bat sorts and a vast number of birds. Plitvice Lakes National Park gives eight sightseeing programs to its visitors. There are also four walking trails on offer. With the many attractions and beauties, this national park has to offer; it is undoubtedly worth a visit at any period of the year.